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Psychology

Essays and videos offering insights into the self, relationships, cognition and neuroscience
We’ve always been distracted | Aeon
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essay

History of technology

We’ve always been distracted

Worried that technology is ‘breaking your brain’? Fears about attention spans and focus are as old as writing itself

Joe Stadolnik

Everything is going to be fine | Aeon
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video

The future

What’s the healthiest way to handle a creeping feeling that the world is ending?

15 minutes

Believing is seeing | Aeon
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video

Social psychology

Social contagions can cause genuine illness, and TikTok may be a superspreader

10 minutes

Ida western exile | Aeon
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video

Technology and the self

One woman prepares for the risky solitude of Georgia O’Keeffe’s American West

8 minutes

Smoke break | Aeon
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video

Work

Catch those idle moments of connection between coworkers on a smoke break

10 minutes

Technology for talking | Aeon
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video

Technology and the self

Adaptive technologies have helped Stephen Hawking, and many more, find their voice

5 minutes

Bacon and God’s wrath | Aeon
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video

Values and beliefs

How a God-fearing Jewish woman found atheism – and bacon – in her later years

9 minutes

Help! Brain overload | Aeon
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essay

Technology and the self

Help! Brain overload

As tasks mount up, our brain’s ability to juggle goes down. Neuroergonomic tactics can relieve the cognitive burden

Emily Willingham

Open shutters | Aeon
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video

Gender and identity

How the spy-cam epidemic in South Korea affects the women who are its victims

35 minutes

EXCLUSIVEThe first Tuesday in November | Aeon
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video

Mood and emotion

Close-ups on the night of anticipation in the 2020 US presidential elections

6 minutes

Precision as a state of mind | Aeon
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video

Technology and the self

‘Perfection is for the gods,’ and this sculptor gets to a thousandth of an inch of it

14 minutes

Forever | Aeon
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video

Technology and the self

When an AI rejects him for life insurance, Mitch wonders if he can escape his fate

7 minutes

Inside your dreamscape | Aeon
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essay

Sleep and dreams

Inside your dreamscape

Dream-hacking techniques can help us create, heal and have fun. They could also become tools of commercial manipulation

Adam Haar Horowitz, Robert Stickgold & Antonio Zadra

Hacking enlightenment | Aeon
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video

Consciousness and altered states

‘Meditation without meditating’ might be possible. Can it also be made ethical?

9 minutes

The warped self | Aeon
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essay

Neuroscience

The warped self

Social media makes us feel terrible about who we really are. Neuroscience explains why – and empowers us to fight back

Mark Miller & Ben White

Am I my connectome? | Aeon
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essay

Neuroscience

Am I my connectome?

Each human brain possesses a unique, intricate pattern of 86 billion neurons. If science can map it, immortality beckons

Phil Jaekl

How Big Tech betrayed us | Aeon
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video

Future of technology

Tech companies shroud their algorithms in secrecy. It’s time to pry open the black box

4 minutes

How vulnerable is the world? | Aeon
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essay

Future of technology

How vulnerable is the world?

Sooner or later a technology capable of wiping out human civilisation might be invented. How far would we go to stop it?

Nick Bostrom & Matthew van der Merwe

The problem with prediction | Aeon
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essay

Technology and the self

The problem with prediction

Cognitive scientists and corporations alike see human minds as predictive machines. Right or wrong, they will change how we think

Joseph Fridman

Unreal city | Aeon
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video

Technology and the self

How an augmented reality app transformed London into an immersive art gallery

6 minutes

The body as mediator | Aeon
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essay

Thinkers and theories

The body as mediator

The phenomenology of Maurice Merleau-Ponty entwines us, via our own beating, pulsing, living bodies, in the lives of others

Dan Nixon

Zoom and gloom | Aeon
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essay

Technology and the self

Zoom and gloom

Sitting in a videoconference is a uniformly crap experience. Instead of corroding our humanity, let’s design tools to enhance it

Robert O’Toole

Ebb tide | Aeon
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video

Teaching and learning

A retired teacher embarks on a mission to find out what became of a beloved student

16 minutes

Is our attention for sale? | Aeon
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video

Technology and the self

A handful of executives control the ‘attention economy’. Time for attentive resistance

4 minutes